IFSC Authority announces framework for aircraft operating companies

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The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) on Friday issued a framework for aircraft operating leases to make GIFT City in Gujarat a hub for such business. To promote such business, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month in her Budget proposed tax exemption for aircraft leasing companies operating out of the first IFSC in the country — the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.

“I propose to include, among others, tax holiday for capital gains for aircraft leasing companies, tax exemption for aircraft lease rentals paid to foreign lessors… located in IFSC,” the minister had said in her Budget speech. The Government of India, on the recommendation of (IFSCA), on October 16, 2020, had notified aircraft lease norms, an official statement said.

Towards this end, IFSCA had issued a consultation paper on Draft Aircraft Leasing Regulations on December 16, 2020, it said.

“Based on the interest shown by various participants and the feedback of various stakeholders received, a ‘Framework for Aircraft Operating Leases’ has been issued by IFSCA today. This will enable the aircraft operating lease business in IFSCs in India, the projected market size of which is more than USD 50 Billion,” it said.

The IFSCA was established on April 27, 2020 with its head office in Gandhinagar.

In December 2019, Parliament passed a bill to set up a unified authority for regulating all financial activities at IFSCs in the country.

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